We've always been a goal-oriented, outcome-driven organization that looks for innovative ways to engage our employees. Early this year, we tried something new and issued a challenge to our employees. For one day, we asked them to avoid routine and mundane tasks. Instead, they should work on a project of their choosing, with a team of their choosing and in the manner and time frame of their liking. The only requirement was to report back in the next day with what they chose to do and the outcome.
This exercise was inspired by Drive, by Daniel H. Pink, and his notion that we are more creative and engaged when we can pick what we work on, when, how we work on it, and with whom. The energy in the office on Challenge Days was palpable. People were focused on creating new products and services, on making current things better, and on simple housekeeping tasks that are often left for “when there is time”.
By creating opportunities and space for implementing ideas that our employees might not be able to individually find time to do, they are able to contribute in more ways and start to express their creativity and problem-solving skills. Looking back at nine months of challenges, we certainly accomplished a lot!